Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mindy Fox's Peruvian Roast Chicken (12/24)

A couple weeks ago, to toast off the last week of my chicken-less summer job, I decided to roast up a chicken. With the help of my friend, Charizard, I embarked on an attempt to do more non-European preparations of chicken. While I'll still be throwing in some European-influenced recipes throughout the rest of the year, expect to see some different flavor profiles pop up every once in a while over the next four months. Holy smokes, only four months left in the year??? I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Chicken number twelve features the work of Mindy Fox. Her recipe showcases how chickens are roasted down in Peru. I've had roast chicken at Peruvian restaurants before, but I had never really known what goes into making these delicious chicken flavor bombs.

Step 1: Mince up some garlic and mix in some salt.

Step 2: Prepare the chicken as usual with a good wash and pat. Rub a couple lemon wedges all over the chicken.

Step 3: Stuff that awesome garlic paste underneath the skin of the chicken. Oh man, this is going to be good.

Step 4: Put together some white wine vinegar, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and oregano. Cumin and paprika happen to be two of my favorite spices. Awesome.

Step 5: Whisk away.

Step 6: Bask in the glory of your deliciously aromatic marinade.

Step 7: Pour the marinade over the chicken in a baking dish.

Step 8: Bask in the glory of your marinaded chicken and let it sit for 5 to 8 hours in the fridge. Turn the bird once or twice. I did 8 hours and one turn.

Step 9: Meanwhile, make the suggested salad. It's awesome. All you do is shock the red onions in some ice water to take out the bite.

And mix in minced cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Leave these guys alone until later, when the chicken is resting, to add the avocados.

Step 10: Take out your gloriously marinaded chicken. Preserve the juices for basting.

Step 11: Squeeze two more lemon wedges into the cavity of the bird and place them inside the cavity. Tie up the legs with some kitchen twine. Season the whole bird with some more salt.

Things should look like this at this point, and your fingers should look like you've killed someone. They should also look like they have almost no hope of being odorless for the next couple days. The bird should also be at room temperature by now, which ensures even cooking and accurate roasting times.

Step 12: Roast the bird at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then roast at 375 degrees for an hour, basting the bird every 20 minutes with the marinade juice. Your kitchen should be smelling awesome by now. Roast for another 15 minutes or so until the juices run clear when you tilt the bird. You can also use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the thigh, which should be at 165 degrees.

Step 13: Take out the chicken and drool. Let the chicken rest as you add avocados to the salad and reheat the pan juices. Oh man. Look at that beauty. Layered with crispy spice and filled with juicy goodness.

The juices, as usual, were unnecessary. If you haven't noticed this about my chicken interpretations so far, the sauces and juices really end up being entirely useless and excessively fatty. Luckily for me, most of the chickens I've run across have held their own without the need for extra grease.

Now, what'd I say? Look at how darn juicy that cut is. The first cut released an intense aroma of cumin, paprika, and lemon. Um, yes, please.

The final plate featured the chicken, the salad, and a red quinoa salad with serrano pesto, black beans, and tomatoes.

The chicken was, like I said, ridiculously juicy, and the flavors were epic. The cumin and paprika made for a smokey and deeply savory bird, while the aftertaste of lemon helped to lighten up each bite. The skin was addictively crispy, and the dark meat was the easiest to down. Surprisingly, the marinade found its way into the centermost parts of the breasts, making the breast meat just as irresistible. So freaking delicious.

The salad was crisp, light, and simple. The salad was a great way to balance out the intense savory flavors of this chicken. The red quinoa salad was a simple mix of Latin flavors that rounded out the chicken and salad, and gave the meal some umph. There was also some bread and chimichurri involved, which I'll share in a couple posts. A great dinner to reintroduce my kitchen to the 24 Roast Chickens project.

Overall, I'm staying loyal to Marcella Hazan, but at year's end, I wouldn't be surprised to find this chicken in the top five. Gracias, Mindy Fox, for an amazing preparation of pollo.


  1. Finally! I've been waiting for this post the way a fat kid waits for the ice cream truck. So glad it was a winner.

  2. This looks fantastic. Congrats on the halfway point!

  3. Thanks again, Charizard! And thanks, Steph!


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